Five Physical Signs that Death is Nearing 

Surely, we try to prepare ourselves when our loved one is terminally ill. We know that there is already a limitation to their time and that any day could be their last. So, we provide them care, love, let them do things they want and love, and we even provide them hospice Albuquerque services just to make sure that their needs and special attention are provided.  




But no matter how we try to be prepared, we would be always caught off guard when the person we love passes away. The following are the physical signs that death is nearing. This might help you prepare your mind in accepting that the person is really on the brink of death and gives you opportunity to provide assistance.  


1.Loss of Appetite 

When the body begins to shut down, the person starts to lose appetite for food. The patient may refuse to eat the food you give him or may take a few bites and eventually stop. This is because the patient finds it hard to swallow food anymore.  


What you can do is to offer some softer foods and be patient with him. Do not force something as this will cause them emotional stress. Keep the patient’s lips moist by wetting with water or putting lip balm. Also, you need to understand that even if it is hard, it is a part of the natural death and dying process that the person loses appetite and does not eat anymore.  


2.Physical Tiredness 

Because the patient’s body is beginning to shut down and the patient is refusing to eat and drink, he/she may not be able to function normally and may not be able to change his clothes, go to the toilet., and may not even have a proper conversation anymore. 


You need to understand how exhausting for them to do certain tasks. So, converse their energy as much as possible. The patient will not be able to tolerate doing even the normal tasks so be patient with them. Keep the patient feel as comfortable as possible.  


3.Difficulty Breathing 

When the end is nearing, most people would experience shortness of breath, or most people call it air hunger where the heart and lungs are needed to produce more oxygen. This induces fear and anxiety. Morphine might be needed to decrease the heart’s urge to have more oxygen. 


You need to accept, as hard as it is, that is it a natural part of dying. Toward the very end, the patient might secrete fluids like moisture in mouth and throat and the hospice staff will provide some patches to help dry the secretions.  


4.Urination changes 

There will be a decreased renal function as the body starts to avoid eating food and liquid. The urine will become brownish, tea-colored, reddish, or no urine at all.  


When the kidney fails, the waste products accumulate in the body and this induces decreased mental alertness leading the patient in a state of comma.  


5.Swelling feet and hands 

Different illnesses contribute to swelling feet and hands as the kidney is failing now. What you can do is to position the patient for easier breathing and elevate the legs slightly. 


Final thoughts 

This might be difficult to accept, but dying is a natural phenomenon and bereavement too. It is important that we provide our loved one the care and attention they need and at the same time, we prepare ourselves for the next thing to happen.  

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